Local athletes Quincy Pondexter, Sloane Stephens give back to Fresno community

Stephen Hicks Image
Tuesday, December 25, 2018
Local athletes give back to the Fresno community, VCH
Local athletes give back to the Fresno community, VCH

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Professional athletes from Fresno are giving back this Christmas season.

Loads of toys arrived at Valley Children's Hospital. San Antonio Spurs player Quincy Pondexter headed the effort.

The Memorial High grad has been donating Christmas toys to patients at Valley Children's Hospital since he went pro 8 years ago.

"In my heart I really feel that you can't receive a blessing without being a blessing so to come back and give back to my hometown of Fresno means the world to me," Pondexter said. "It became really emotional to read the stories that came about with some of the families and what they were going through. I wish I could grant every wish for every single family but there were some touching stories that stood out and to meet the families here today has been really really special."

The toys were collected by Pondexters friends and family along with professional women's tennis star Sloan Stephens, who's also from Fresno.

"There's so many people that are in need and I think to be able to bless other people is one of the best gifts that you can give and we're just honored to be able to do this and bless so many people on Christmas Eve and then on Christmas just to make their Christmas a little bit better," said Stephens.

For local athletes--Christmas eve is a time to be with family--and also a time to give back.

Working with the Poverello House--Sloane and Quincy also selected ten families from their social media pages.

"Christmas isn't always easy for her so when I saw the opportunity I just wanted to nominate her because I felt like if anyone deserves a little help around Christmas it's my sister," said Taryn Ramirez.

A total of 25 families here in Fresno were given a 220 dollar target gift card.

"There was a lot of smiles, lot of tears, lot of thankful parents. People just appreciate something nice and I think that's a big part of giving back is just the little bit that you can do for someone can really change their day, change their month, change their year and I think that's really special," Stephens said.